Iconically expressible meanings in Proto-Indo-European roots and their
reflexes in daughter branches
The paper examines types of iconicity in Proto-Indo-European roots. The iconic functions, which are present in symmetrical and asymmetrical root patterns, qualitative and quantitative alternation, reduplication, and metathesis, turn out to be efficient at expressing intuitions and knowledge about fundamental properties of entities and basic discriminations – contrast and similarity, continuity and discontinuity, proximity and distance, openness and closure. The phonetic and morphological structures of basic forms, variants of PIE roots and stems, manipulated in order to mime structures in the external world, express particular meanings in the protolanguage, and motivate the semantic continuants of PIE etymons in daughter languages.